Small Stuff - New England March 2007

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Experts to share performance secrets

North U and OffshoreSailingSchool are again teaming up for the seventh year with Performance Race Weeks.

The course offers six days of on-the-water race training, where students sail all day, every day. Two weeks are scheduled in 2007 — April 22 to 28 and April 29 to May 5 — at South Seas Island Resort on CaptivaIsland in Southwest Florida.

Performance Race Weeks, held every spring on CaptivaIsland, are scheduled for sailors in northern climates to brush up their skills in anticipation of the racing season. To get the most from this race training, participants spend half of each day with their coaches aboard award-winning Colgate 26s, and half the day with coaches alongside in chase boats.

“This course pushes people up the learning curve dramatically,” said Bill Gladstone, Director of North U. “They learn racing skills faster than if they are self-taught. They go home seeing the big picture of what it takes to race successfully, and learn how much fun it can be to apply themselves this way,” he said.

The week-long program includes 36 hours of on-water instruction and racing, eight hours of comprehensive seminars, and six hours of instructional video review of each day’s racing. For information, contact OffshoreSailingSchool at (800) 221-4326 or visit the school’s Web site at www.offshoresailing.com .

Bertie Reed was a sailing pioneer

South African yachtsman and solo circumnavigator “Biltong” Bertie Reed died Dec. 18 after a battle with liver cancer. He was 63.

Reed was the first South African and one of only a small number of sailors to complete three single-handed circumnavigations, news reports say. He also is noted for rescuing a fellow competitor whose yacht sank after hitting a submerged iceberg during the 1990-’91 BOC Challenge.

For the heroic feat Reed was given the Worlaad Woltermade award, South Africa’s highest civilian award for bravery, reports say. Among his many awards he also received a presidential citation.

Reed finished second overall and first on handicap in the inaugural BOC Challenge (1982-’83) aboard the then 14-year-old sloop, Voortrekker, according to reports. Of the 170,000 nautical miles Reed sailed competitively, 100,000 are said to have been single-handed.

— Jason Fell

Sailor remembered for volunteer work

Respected racing judge Peter Lorson, 71, died Jan. 1 at his home in Southwick, Mass.

A lifelong sailor and senior judge, Lorson joined the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in the 1950s and served as Commodore from 1986-‘87.

He later chaired the club’s regatta committee and ran the Manhasset Bay Fall Series until he retired to Florida in 1999. He was active in frostbite sailing for decades and served as commodore of the Frostbite Yacht Club in 1960s. While living in Florida in recent years, Lorson was a sought-after judge and campaigned a radio controlled Soling 1 Meter.

Lorson also was an experienced bluewater sailor; and had been a member of the Storm Trysail Club since 1968 where he volunteered at many Block Island Race Weeks and held the office of Treasurer for seven years.

Lorson is survived by Sally, his wife of 47 years; his son Pedro; daughter Mimi Berry; and four granddaughters.

Online entry available for Marion-Bermuda Race

Application for entry for the 2007 Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race is now open online at www.marionbermuda.com.On the home page, click the “Enter the Race” button along with the 2007 Notice of Race and updated 2007 race documentation.

Monohulls in the biennial cruising yacht race start June 15 in Buzzards Bay near Marion, Mass. The cruising multihulls will start June16.

Plans are under way for the 30th Anniversary Race including expanded festivities in Bermuda. Registrants can sign up for Race Update emails to receive the latest information on the race.